Laser/light applications in ophthalmology: Posterior segment applications

Victor M. Villegas, Timothy G. Murray, Amy C. Schefler, Charles C. Wykoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Among medical fields, ophthalmology has perhaps the richest history with regard to the widespread application of laser technologies. The first experimental use of laser in ophthalmology was that of the German ophthalmologist Gerd Meyer-Schwickerath, who began using the Beck arc in 1949 (Abramson. Acta Ophthalmol Suppl, 194:3-63, 1989; Neubauer and Ulbig. Ophthalmologica 221(2):95-102, 2007). By 1954, Meyer-Schwickerath had treated 41 patients with the xenon arc photocoagulator and by 1957, he reported that he was able to close 82 macular holes with this technology (Abramson. Acta Ophthalmol Suppl, 194:3-63, 1989). Working together with Littmann from the Carl Zeiss Company, he created a similar xenon arc photocoagulator which became available for widespread ophthalmic applications in the late 1960s and was used more frequently in the 1970s. Since then, lasers have been used with notable success for a wide variety of ophthalmic conditions including refractive error, glaucoma, lens-related conditions such as posterior capsular opacification, and retinal conditions including diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLasers in Dermatology and Medicine
Subtitle of host publicationDental and Medical Applications
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319762203
ISBN (Print)9783319762180
StatePublished - May 24 2018


  • Age-related macular degeneration
  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Glaucoma
  • Laser therapy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Posterior capsular opacification
  • Refractive error
  • Retinoblastoma
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Dentistry(all)


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